Watch out old media, blogging has arrived! (Well, in the USA)

Even the New York Times has woken up to the fact that “The Year of the Political Blogger has Arrived.” Writing about the coverage of the party conventions by bloggers, the NYT notes that:

“This year, both parties understand the need to have greater numbers of bloggers attend. While many Americans may watch only prime-time television broadcasts of the convention speeches, party officials also recognize the ability of bloggers to deliver minute-by-minute coverage of each day’s events to a niche online audience.”

Okay, we’re talking the US here and not NZ. Here the National Party gave its (unpaid) house blogger a pass to cover its conference and access the free bar, but denied Standardista Clinton Smith credentials. NZ journos have only just started to notice the new kid on their block, as the recent confusion over shifting roles shows (here and here).

Of course, they have bigger blogs in the US, like HuffPo and Daily Kos. Daily Kos is sending 11 people to cover the Democratic Convention. They have national media credentials, access to panel sessions, the convention center, into the stadium for the acceptance speech festivities. “We are doing interviews (already lining them up), attending breakfasts and panels and the whole nine yards.”

The major parties in the US gave press credentials to bloggers first in 2004; a dozen (GOP) and 35 (Dems) only. This year the GOP is handing out credentials to 200 bloggers. Bloggers covering the Democratic Convention get either a “national credential”, providing the same access as members of traditional news media receive, or the more coveted “state blogger credential”. The latter allows one blogger per state to cover the convention alongside its state delegation, with unlimited floor access.

There is frustration amongst the bloggers that they are not being treated equally with the old media, reflecting a growing sense of entitlement:

“This is stuff we deserve — we helped the party get people elected,” said Matt Stoller, a political consultant and a contributor to the blog Open Left, who worked as the volunteer in charge of getting credentials for bloggers at the Democratic convention four years ago. “Maybe in 2004 it was about being accommodating and innovative — but this time around there’s a real fight for power in the party.”

Take note old media in NZ. It may not happen this election, but if you want to see the future, you know where to look.

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6 Responses to “Watch out old media, blogging has arrived! (Well, in the USA)”

  1. Adolf Fiinkensein Says:

    Come now, JP. You don’t seriously expect anyone except the Labour Party to give the appalling Standard any credibility, do you?

    If you had left out that particular snide comment you might have produced some decent commentary.

    I suggest that bloggers in this country have a long way to go before we gain the ‘creds’ of our US brothers and sisters, if we ever do. It is noteworthy, I think, that most of the US bloggers I read also have regular TV, radio and print media spots and I think it is from these that they derive much of their real influence.

  2. jafapete Says:

    Thanks Adolf,

    High praise indeed for a leftish blogger!

    I didn’t think that comment was particularly snide. It was in the context of NZ’s relative backwardness, which applies to all of us. Nor would it surprise me were the NZLP to deny Farrar press credentials, although it would disappoint me. While I’m clearly more independent than the Standardistas on the whole, I think I could make a good case for giving Clinton a press pass.

    I agree that we have a long way to go to catch up, but I can see progress here, and NZ bloggers playing a much more critical role at the next election. Also, we read different US bloggers, and while many that I read (e.g. Krugman) have newspaper columns or the like, the people at myDD, open left and so on do not. It’s still good stuff. Though you may disagree. :)

  3. Stephen Says:

    “gave its (unpaid) house blogger a pass”

    Isn’t DPF he a member though? Whether you need separate permission to report regardless of membership is another question…

    Stephen, Farrar attended as a member of the press and not as a party member, and got the priviledges that go with that. Speaking for myself, you’d have to pay me a lot of money to attend a party conference in any capacity these days…

  4. Inventory2 Says:

    JP – why would National give Smith the steam off their sausage rolls? It’s hardly as though he would write anything objective is it?

    Maybe, but then it’s up to the readers to make up their minds what’s good and what’s not, not the subjects, surely? Also, this reasoning justifies Obama refusing to appear on the Republican attack channel Faux News.

  5. Stephen Says:

    I’ve never been to a party conference JP, but what’s the problem – too much mutual backslapping, sycophantry etc..? Heh, i remember one guy on Kiwiblog wondering why people didn’t really fancy going to cover a party conference because they’re so tedious/boring etc.., because for that guy, you got to be around good, solid, freedom loving Kiwis for a few days! Who wouldn’t want that? Ha!

  6. Stephen Says:

    I can sympathise with the assertion that it is quite simply ridiculous not to let someone in because of political partisanship – I remember Key wouldn’t answer The Standard’s ‘Ask the Leaders’ questions because…it was The Standard. It’s just…they can be so screechingly partisan sometimes. I mean, using the Tony Veitch thing to have a go at Key wasn’t even surprising for me, but it really *should* be!

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